With Mobile World Congress and its attendant blizzard of news about all things mobile coming up in a couple of weeks, Apple is newsbombing the proceedings with leaks about the forthcoming Apple Watch.
The Wall Street Journal has carried a couple of interesting pieces in the last day. One article puts the initial production run at 5 million units. The other, more interesting, article details a fascinating product problem: everyone thinks the Apple Watch is cool, but most of the functions the company had in mind for it are not really possible. It’s like if the original spec for the iPhone included teleportation but they had to drop it out because the technology wasn’t quite ready yet.
Apple’s initial goals for the watch when it first was being developed four years ago were around health and fitness, the Journal says. But even today, step-counting isn’t reliable (or any more reliable than an iPhone), heart-rate monitoring isn’t accurate, blood pressure and oximetry is hard to get right (and would probably need FDA approval), and forget about automatic calorie counting. So what we’ll have is a beautifully designed notification and payment device, a gadget that outraced the technology that it was really made for. Which is fine — the people who may spend the rumored $5000 for the gold version aren’t paying that money for dead-spot-on step counting. But neither is it exactly what Apple seems to have had in mind.